Zhou Chunya 周春芽

(Chinese, born 1955)

Zhou Chunya’s painting style has been described as a hybrid of Western Modernism, traditional Chinese painting, and the Socialist Realism he was taught in school. Zhou considers himself above all a colorist; his favored color is a precise shade of green called Italian Classico Verde 290. “Color itself has no meaning, and it is meaningful only when people think of it,” he says. “Then it becomes a symbol.” Zhou’s earlier paintings featured images of stones and flowers borrowed from the iconography of Chinese paintings, but executed in a style influenced by German Expressionism. A more recent and better-known painting series features as its subject his dog, Black Root, rendered in his favorite green, with men and women performing sexual acts in the background.